Special Effects (1984)

directed by larry cohen
hemdale film corporation/larjan

More of a suspenseful meta dramedy than a horror film as such, this flick made me wonder how insufferable Eric Bogosian is in real life, as he was really, really good at portraying a total asshole here in his first cinematic lead role, as he also would prove to be a few years hence in Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio – adapted from the stage play Bogosian himself wrote. It also made me wonder what I would feel if I set foot in New York City again, since it’s been so long and so many things have changed so much since last I felt at home there. This tale of a murder disguised (hopefully) as a movie thinks it’s making all sorts of statements about the film industry and aspirant lives shooting for stardom and, you know, Art, and probably a bunch of other stuff, too, but I’m pretty sure the filmmaker just wanted to be clever about his Art. He sort of succeeds in making everything exponentially self-referential, but ultimately, nothing here really walks up and introduces itself. The exception may be the domicile of artist Lowell Nesbitt, where a lot of the action is filmed. Damn but the Art Scene in New York was a profitable one.

«no entiendes»

why did i watch this movie?

A reference to Cohen’s concurrent release Perfect Strangers opined this was a better option. And I’ve been meaning to watch his A Return to Salem’s Lot.

should you watch this movie?

Cohen has a bizarre and somewhat notorious filmography that may interest you.

highlight and low point

The actress who plays the dual lead female role, credited here as Zoe Tamerlis, dominates this category once you realize she was something of an advocate for heroin. (A bold stance, to be sure.)

She died two months after her 37th birthday.

Rating from outer space: B−

but do they have the Miss Piggy

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